Telephone & Internet in the campo

One major problem with living in a country house in Spain is getting a telephone line and internet reception to your home. Telefonica, Spain’s equivalent of BT, will quickly set up a telephone line and internet broadband if you live in a town or village. If you live in the country it is a different matter.  Here are some comments by Digby.

We could not get a land line to our last house so we used Iberbanda, one of the companies that uses a radio signal. A small dish is placed on the wall of the house pointing at the nearest visible radio mast that transmits their signal. The phone works effectively but we found the speed of the internet was inconsistent and too frequently went down. The cost of this was around 48 euros per month plus the cost of international calls and calls to mobile phones. Calls to landlines in Spain were free. Our monthly bill was between 60 and 70 euros a month including IVA (VAT) and we managed with this system quite adequately for 3 years.

At our new house we discovered that there is no radio mast in view so we could not use Iberbanda again. We also have no mobile phone coverage. Firstly, we contacted Telefonica to see what they could offer. At first they said they would set us up with a phone and internet but the internet would be dial up. A technician would contact us within 10 days. Nobody contacted us so we phoned again. This time they said that we could have a phone line only, but would contact us within 4 days. Again, nobody called but we received a letter asking us if we still needed a phone. We did not pursue this as we found that the neighbours have a satellite system from Telefonica, for both phone and internet, which is hopeless. The internet speed is only 57k and the phone is very expensive for calls and always down. As I write, they have been without a phone and internet for 3 weeks while they wait for a technician to come.

The only solution seemed to be to purchase an independent satellite based system. My research indicated that TOOWAY is the best. The main problem is the purchase of the hardware and installation which is about 900 euros. The typical monthly fee is 35 euros. I was able to locate a provider near Antequera, about 45 minutes from where we live, who offered the latest TOOWAY package. The system was installed within a few days. The speed is 3.6mbps and we have found it much more stable than Iberbanda. The problem of not having a telephone has not been completely resolved, but we are using SKYPE which is free if you are speaking to somebody who also has SKYPE. It is also possible to make very cheap calls to telephone numbers through this system. You have to deposit 10 euros in your SKYPE account to start this up. Subscription to SKYPE  is free and you can set it up by simply downloading from their web site.


About Margaret Merry

I grew up in Falmouth, Cornwall, England where, after leaving Falmouth High School, I spent a year at Falmouth School of Art. Then followed three years at Hornsey College of Art in London where I obtained a Diploma in Art and Design. I then spent a post-graduate year at the West of England College of Art in Bristol where I gained an Art Teacher?s Diploma and a Certificate in Education of the University of Bristol. I lived and worked in Truro for over 30 years and became one of Cornwall's most popular artists. My paintings have been exhibited in New York, Tokyo, Paris and London and have been bought by collectors from all over the world. I have published 4 books which became local bestsellers - 'The Natural History of a Westcountry City', 'Margaret Merry's Cornish Garden Sketchbook', 'Sea & Sail' and 'Tidal Reaches'. In 2002 I moved to Spain and now live pn a small farmer the town of Alhabia in the Alpujarra Almeriense in the Province of Almeria. I now get my inspiration from the dramatic scenery of Andalucia and its old cities, towns and villages which I usually capture in watercolour. I also enjoy portraiture and figurative art, particularly nudes and dancers. For these paintings I use artists' soft pastels. I have written and illustrated 3 children's books - The Wise Old Boar, The Lonely Digger and The Adventure of Princess The Pony - which have been published in the USA.
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